By Kelly Bell/ETR

The director of Kilgore College’s Small Business Development Center (KCSBDC,) Brad Bunt, has pulled down the award as the 2016 State Star for Texas. He will be formally recognized at the 36th annual America’s Small Business Development Center Conference in Orlando, Florida on September 19-22. This yearly Small Business Development Center Award honors each state’s performer who makes a significant contribution to their states’ small business community, demonstrates exceptional performance while embodying a powerful commitment to small business in general. For the past 26 years, the SBDC has partnered with the U.S. Small Business Administration in serving East Texas. The State Director for the North Texas SBDC Network, Mark Langford, went far in describing Bunt’s achievement in earning this recognition.
“Brad has been awarded the North Texas SBDC Network’s State Star for his performance excellence and service of the highest caliber beyond the standard,” he said. “He is a strong advocate for small business interests by promoting initiative focusing on jobs and business growth. His stellar partnership and performance through bold, exemplary, imaginative and effective efforts make exceptional contributions to the North Texas SBDC Network and the Kilgore SBDC service area.”
Bunt’s work with the NTSBDC network has overlapped onto assorted national platforms connected with small business efforts. He serves locally as brand ambassador on behalf of the SBDC program. He is a senior leader personifying the NTSBDC’s organizational platform of integrity, collaboration, innovation, accountability and credibility. NTSBDC Associate Director Katrina Wade-Miller pointed out how Bunt’s many characteristics make him perfect for his position.
“Brad Bunt’s efforts are strategically aligned with the vision of accelerating the North Texas economy by helping entrepreneurs grow sustainable businesses,” she said. “Brad is community-focused, small business-centric and service-oriented on behalf of the clients and communities he serves. He makes significant contributions to the SBDC program, demonstrating a true commitment to small businesses. He’s a true servant leader with a collaborative spirit who creates a culture of synergy and inclusion throughout the North Texas SBDC Network.”
Bunt has been working with the SBDC since 1991 and is celebrating his 25th anniversary in his department. During the past quarter century, he has incurred more than $93 million in capital infusion. He assisted various clients in obtaining 329 separate loans with 91 of these (totaling over $40 million) being commercial loans. He has helped clients in garnering 41 Small Business Administration loans totaling slightly more than $20 million. He has more than 2200 clients and slightly more than 20,000 counseling hours. He has helped create 1825 new jobs, retained 3931 jobs and helped kick-start numerous small businesses throughout East Texas.
“It is an honor to serve the entrepreneurs of East Texas,” Bunt said. “Having worked with all types of businesses over my 25 years I get the most joy in seeing many of these businesses thriving and flourishing to this day. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in East Texas, and to have played a role in the creation of so many small businesses is a great honor.”
Besides his invaluable work with Kilgore College and the North Texas SBDC Network, Bunt has been a blessing to all of East Texas through his skill and industry in making it possible for clients to make their career dreams come true. Every successful business he helps create is a great asset to the whole region. He has totally earned every award and honor bestowed on him. He is the East Texas Council of Governments’ Corporate Citizen of the Year for 2016. Also, this year the North Texas SBDC Network named the Kilgore SBDC the state’s SBDC of the Year. This latter award is very difficult to earn, requiring great success in exceeding performance milestones, winning long-term clients, new business starts-up and capital infusion.
The KCSBDC strives to achieve pre-set, focused goals and objectives. In 2015, it surpassed the capital infusion goal by 451%, raking in almost $28 million. By creating 523 new jobs, it exceeded its business start-up goal by 109%, and achieved 107% on its long-term client goal. Besides setting a record for the Kilgore SBDC, this was the highest client-validated economic impact in the history of the NTSBDC Network.
For more information of the KCSBDC please call (903) 757-5857 or visit www.KilgoreSBDC.com.